Friday night my wife and I went to PENGUINCON, a computer/science fiction convention of sort in Troy, Michigan. I went to hear a panel discuss: The Lovecraft Legacy, and to do a little Cthulhu role-playing. I also went to make fun of the people at the convention, who am I fooling? (Cthulhu pictured to the right)
And yes, there were furries. Anyone who has read my blog for some time may know that I experienced my first furry at the last convention I attended. For those of you who don't know, and I respect you for NOT knowing, a furry is someone who likes to dress up as a furry little animal and run around. They will wear little noses, ears, tails...some of them will even put on an entire body covering costume: Full Body Furries.
I think I need to organize one of these events to be in downtown Detroit and not one of the suburban hotels. Before I die, I want to see a furry or two walking through the Detroit urban landscape.
That being said, let me address the panel discussing The Lovecraft Legacy.
The panelists, with the possible exception of William Jones ( who had difficulty getting a word in edgewise) , didn't seem to approach the subject of Lovecraft with any real erudition; and topically they were all over the place.
The structure of a panel?
A moderator asks a question, then some members of the panel take turns being pompous while other members wait in vain for an opportunity to speak. Meanwhile, the audience, eager to approve and to be approved of, ask inane questions that other members of the audience want to answer so badly that they wet their seats.
I think what would have made this panel more attractive (and not just this panel, but most panels at these conventions) is to have each speaker with a prepared text on the subject (perhaps coordinating with one another beforehand to avoid repetition). After the erudite speecifying, the audience would then be allowed to ask questions based on the text, to clarify the positions or address specific issues raised by the speaker. I'd even let the seat wetters talk.
I will be posting a picture or two from the convention in a day or so. I hope. By the way, the gaming afterward was tremendous fun.